ROCK SPRINGS – With high school graduation now in the rearview mirror, Rock Springs High School graduate Anthony Erramouspe is taking his swimming talents to the next level.
This past April, the Tigers swimming star signed his national letter of intent to compete for St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.
“I’m excited,” Anthony said. “I have been working extremely hard these past few years and it’s nice to see that work paying off.”
Before signing with St. Ambrose, Anthony initially had his mind set on attending Colorado School of Mines. However, after traveling to Davenport and taking a campus tour of the university, he had a strong feeling that St. Ambrose was the right fit.
“As soon as I got there, I had a great talk with the head coach,” Anthony said. “I even stayed a few nights in the dorms with some of the swimmers. The whole time, everything felt really familiar. That’s when I knew this was the right choice.”
Not only did the coaching staff and teammates make Anthony’s choice easier, but St. Ambrose University also offers a program for his preferred field of study.
“Once I found out the school had a mechanical engineering program, that was it,” he said. “Only two schools in the entire NAIA division have a program for that, St. Ambrose being one of them.”
Before Anthony’s dream of competing at the college level could come true, he knew he had to get stronger in the water first.
“Going into my freshman year, I wasn’t a strong swimmer,” Anthony said. “At that point in time, I wasn’t even thinking about swimming in college. It wasn’t until my sophomore season when I realized, I might actually have a shot at it.”
Following his sophomore season, Anthony continued to work hard and develop. He swam year round, and by the time he entered his junior year, the rising star immediately noticed a significant change. In his junior year, Anthony not only qualified for state for the first time, but he qualified in three events.
“It was exciting,” he said. “Once I got a taste of it (state), all I wanted to do was get back in the water and to keep working.”
In his final offseason, Anthony spent the entire summer back in the water. When he wasn’t swimming for the high school, he was competing at the club level trying to get even stronger. When his senior season arrived, it didn’t take long for everyone to notice all of the work he had been putting in. On the very first day of practice, Anthony was immediately voted team captain by his peers.
His teammates knew what type of guy Anthony was, and first-year head coach David Galindo noticed something special in him right away as well.
“I saw his competitiveness and his drive,” Galindo said. “Everyone looked up to him and I knew he was already a leader on the team before I even took over the program.”
This past year, Rock Springs was one of the youngest teams in the entire state. After getting to know Anthony a bit more, Galindo knew he had selected the right person to help lead this young and inexperienced group.
“From the very first practice, Anthony set the bar,” said Galindo. “He helped drive every single one of his teammates to get better and he never once got down on them.”
Being one of the more experienced swimmers on the team, Anthony was not only looked up to as a leader, but in the back of his mind he knew he had to take on more responsibility and help carry the team throughout the course of the season.
“Anthony is just that kind of person,” Galindo said. “ He will do whatever it takes to help his team. That only adds more to his character.”
With that kind of pressure resting on his shoulders, Anthony never once complained. Instead, he continued to work hard, and as the end of his senior season approached, he was back at the state meet for a second-straight year after qualifying in six different events.
After competing in the 200-yard freestyle, 100 freestyle, 50 freestyle, 200 IM and 100 butterfly, Anthony’s best finish came in the 500 freestyle. With a time of 5 minutes, 10.82 seconds, he finished the event in sixth place.
“That was an awesome feeling,” Anthony said. “My ultimate goal was to place at state and to accomplish that feat, it felt amazing.”
Up next, Anthony will move on from what was an outstanding high school career and spend the summer preparing for his freshman year at SAU.
“I’m excited to get back up there,” he said. “I really don’t know what to expect just yet. My plan for now is to take things one day at a time.”
As for Galidno, the head coach couldn’t be happier seeing one of his swimmers make it to next level.
“I’m so excited for him,” he said. “No one deserves this more. Anthony carries himself so well and he has been working extremely hard to make his dream come true. It’s not only great for him, but watching him move on to the next level gives the rest of the team a goal to move on as well. It shows them that swimming doesn’t have to end at the high school level.”